Cheap & Good

Instagram-worthy waffles at Zulos

A big sign above the counter declares: "Today is your cheat day".

But every day seems to be "cheat day" at Zulos Dessert Place, a halal dessert cafe that is within walking distance from Mustafa Centre.

The sinful offerings at the 40-seater include churros, milkshakes and colourful cakes. There is even beef lasagna if you feel so inclined, or need a break from the sweet treats.

But I am here for the waffles, which range in price from $6.50 for the original waffle to $15 for a Smores waffle with marshmallows and ice cream. Other unique flavours include Milo Malt ($9.50), Thai Ice Tea ($10.50) and Ondeh Ondeh waffles ($10.50).

The Kinder Bueno waffle ($9.50), however, is probably the most Instagram-worthy of the lot.


The Kinder Bueno waffle comes with generous swirls of hazelnut sauce. ST PHOTO: ANJALI RAGURAMAN

  • ZULOS DESSERT PLACE

  • 200-1 Syed Alwi Road, open 3 to 10pm (Mondays to Thursdays and Sundays), 3 to 10.30pm (Fridays and Saturdays)

    Rating: 4/5 stars

The colourful red velvet waffle, with flecks of blue batter, comes with generous swirls of housemade hazelnut sauce and a sprinkling of white chocolate chips. Ground up digestive biscuits add some crunch, while two slabs of white Kinder Bueno top the dessert. It is a sweet tooth fantasy or a diabetic's nightmare.

For $2 more, diners get two additional scoops of either vanilla or chocolate ice cream, but I skip that as I worry it might be overly sweet. This is a good call as I quickly realise I can't finish the portion myself.

The waffle itself is slightly dense and closer in texture to the kind of waffles from neighbourhood bakeries, rather than fluffy, light Belgian waffles. But coupled with all the other elements on the dish, every mouthful makes me want more. While it should probably come with a sweetness warning, I still manage to finish three quarters of it.

The dish arrives in less than five minutes, but a sign at the counter warns of waiting times of up to 20 minutes during peak periods. It is not hard to imagine, considering the cafe is 80 per cent full on a weekday afternoon, with everyone from students to couples to tourists.

Zulos might be a familiar name to some. The first iteration of the store at Clementi West was shut in June this year, after a year-long run. While Zulos has also had a stall at the Ramadan bazaar in Geylang for the past two years, the owners opened the Syed Alwi brick-and-mortar store just a month ago and have already started to see snaking lines on the weekends.

The couple behind the business are Mr Zulfadli Zainal Abidin, 28, and his wife, Ms Nur Sherillin Mohamed Jabbar, 26. Ms Sherillin, a former Singapore Airlines cabin crew member, runs the business full-time and is at the store every day. Mr Zulfadli, a professional footballer with Warriors Football Club, helps out part -time.

"I have a very sweet tooth and my wife created the Kinder Bueno waffle for me," he says, adding that it is one of the top-selling items.

"It's a good thing I have football training to work it off," he says with a laugh.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 16, 2016, with the headline 'A very sweet treat'. Print Edition | Subscribe